I have been wanting to start making my own earwires for quite some time, but it's been one of those projects that just keeps falling to the bottom of the pile. I finally carved out some time to do it, and I was so pleased with the results that I thought I would put together this free tutorial. I'm hoping it will be the first of many jewelry making tutorials that I will post here, but we'll see how things go - I'm not making any promises.
You will need:
- round-nosed pliers
- flat-nosed pliers
- wire cutters
- 20" of 20-gauge half-hard sterling silver wire (to make 10 earwires)
- a Sharpie pen (fine point) or 1/2" wooden dowel
- metal file (or a nail file will work) or deburring tool
- silver polishing cloth
- metal hammer and block (optional)
1. Cut a 20" length of wire from your spool.
2. Begin to wrap the wire around the Sharpie pen (or dowel), holding it tightly against the pen/dowel.
3. Continue wrapping until all of the wire is coiled, keeping coils neat and tight.
4. Remove coil from pen/dowel; it will spring open a bit (mine ended up being about 11/16" in diameter after I took them off the pen).
5. Using your wire cutters, snip off one end to get rid of any part that isn't perfectly round.
6. Continue snipping the coils, one at a time, to produce ten circles. (You may end up with one more or less, but 20" of wire produced 10 earwires for me.)
7. File both ends of each wire section to remove any rough edges.
8. Grasp one end of the circle with your round-nosed pliers, near the end of the wire.
9. Turn the pliers towards the inside of the earwire to form a small loop.
10. Grasp the other end of the circle with your flat-nosed pliers and bend slightly outward.
11. Polish and, if you wish, hammer the earwires. (Mine are un-hammered.)
Some people make these with the loop turned to the outside, but I like the clean look of this version best (at least today). Feel free to experiment and develop your own style!
These earwires are easy to make and comfortable to wear, and they give a more modern, distinctive look to your designs than commercially produced earwires. I hope you find this tutorial useful; if you have any questions or comments, please let me know!